MACBETH, Scenic and Puppet Design
By William Shakespeare
Resident Ensemble Players, Newark, Delaware
Directed by Leslie Reidel
Lighting Design: Thomas Hase
Costume Design: Martha Hally
Sound Design: Eileen Smitheimer
In this stylized version of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, puppets were used for the Witches, as well as Banquo’s Ghost and Macduff’s son. The armies were indicated with shadow effects and illustrated on banners. As scenic designer, I was charged with creating an “Elizabethan theatrical machine” to propel the horrific, fast-paced story.
The set consisted of a four-sided unit oriented at different angles to suggest distinct Scottish locations. This actor-driven sculptural unit was designed to spin easily in either direction. The revolving motion of the set served to illustrate Macbeth’s world as it spiraled out of control.
I chose to surface the unit with wood planking to evoke the old world while maintaining a contemporary visual attitude. The theatrical machine included a massive angled surface to suggest the exterior. Another element included an above space with doorways for interior scenes.